MEXICO POTENTIAL ABOUNDS IN
by Roy Palmer
exico, with a population of 122 million is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. The country is known for its Pacific and Gulf of Mexico beaches and its diverse landscape of mountains, deserts and jungles. Ancient ruins such as Teotihuacan (Aztec), Chichen Itza (Mayan) and Spanish colonial-era towns are scattered throughout the country. Infectious Mariachi music, sombreros and vitamin ‘T’ are also some of the great highlights. Vitamin ‘T’ includes Tacos, Tostados, Tamales, Taquitos, Tortas and Tortillas all washed down with Tequila. Rather cheekily last year, Mexico offered some US based aquaculture businesses the opportunity to raise their fish south of the border where they promised regulaters had a more modern approach to offshore aquaculture than they could experience in their own country.
Mexico has recently become serious about aquaculture
Mexico has in the last few years become a serious aquaculture country and there is a major effort by Mexican offshore fish farmers and government officials to make their country ‘the place’ for raising fish offshore in North America. Aquaculture is supported in Mexico by the Federation through
the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) and CONAPESCA. The head of the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA), Mario Aguilar Sánchez has said on many occasions that boosting aquaculture provides “a great opportunity to contribute to the growth of the industry, with products having nutritional and protein quality available to Mexicans,” according to press reports. Mexico has indeed gone further than most countries in the area of seafood consumption and understanding the need for promotion and marketing and this is assisting the drive/desire for aquaculture. In 2012 the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) completed a survey and found that Mexican households spent monthly 34 percent of their income in food, out of which 8.5 percent was seafood, Of the 31.5 million households that were surveyed by, on average , only 24.4 percent said that their food basket are included seafood. The indications at that stage showed Mexican seafood consumption at around the 9kgs per person per annum. Mexico has been mentioned as being in the top three countries in terms of obesity, and Coneval, the government’s social development agency, has advised that the poverty rate is approximately 46.2 percent of Mexico’s population, and equivalent to 55.3 million people. Coneval defines poverty as living on no more than 2,542 pesos ($157.70) a month in cities and 1,615 pesos in rural areas.
36 | March | April 2016 - International Aquafeed